Using two of the world’s most powerful space telescopes — NASA’s Hubble and ESA’s Gaia — astronomers have made the most precise measurements to date of the universe’s expansion rate. This is calculated by gauging the distances between nearby galaxies using special types of stars called Cepheid variables as cosmic yardsticks. By comparing their intrinsic brightness as measured by Hubble, with their apparent brightness as seen from Earth, scientists can calculate their distances. Gaia further refines this yardstick by geometrically measuring the distances to Cepheid variables within our Milky Way galaxy. This allowed astronomers to more precisely calibrate the distances to Cepheids that are seen in outside galaxies. Credits: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Hubble and Gaia Team Up to Fuel Cosmic Conundrum

Hubble and Gaia Team Up to Fuel Cosmic Conundrum Using the power and synergy of two space telescopes, astronomers have made the most precise measurement…

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When galaxies align. NASA

How we proved Einstein right on galactic scales – and what it means for dark energy and dark matter

How we proved Einstein right on galactic scales – and what it means for dark energy and dark matter When galaxies align. NASA Thomas Collett,…

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Galaxy cluster with dark matter denoted in blue. Smithsonian Institution @ Flickr Commons, CC BY-SA

Our study suggests the elusive ‘neutrino’ could make up a significant part of dark matter

Our study suggests the elusive ‘neutrino’ could make up a significant part of dark matter Galaxy cluster with dark matter denoted in blue. Smithsonian Institution…

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This image shows the the huge galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+223, whose light has taken over 5 billion years to reach us. Highlighted is the position where the star LS1 appeared — its image magnified by a factor 2000 by gravitational microlensing. The galaxy in which the star is located can be seen three times on the sky — multiplied by strong gravitational lensing. Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Rodney (John Hopkins University, USA) and the FrontierSN team; T. Treu (University of California Los Angeles, USA), P. Kelly (University of California Berkeley, USA) and the GLASS team; J. Lotz (STScI) and the Frontier Fields team; M. Postman (STScI) and the CLASH team; and Z. Levay (STScI)

Hubble uses cosmic lens to discover most distant star ever observed

Hubble uses cosmic lens to discover most distant star ever observed Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found the most distant star ever…

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Icarus, whose official name is MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1, is the farthest individual star ever seen. It is only visible because it is being magnified by the gravity of a massive galaxy cluster, located about 5 billion light-years from Earth. Called MACS J1149+2223, this cluster, shown at left, sits between Earth and the galaxy that contains the distant star. The panels at the right show the view in 2011, without Icarus visible, compared with the star's brightening in 2016. Credits: NASA, ESA, and P. Kelly (University of Minnesota)

Hubble Uncovers the Farthest Star Ever Seen

Hubble Uncovers the Farthest Star Ever Seen More than halfway across the universe, an enormous blue star nicknamed Icarus is the farthest individual star ever…

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This large, fuzzy-looking galaxy is so diffuse that astronomers call it a “see-through” galaxy because they can clearly see distant galaxies behind it. The ghostly object, catalogued as NGC 1052-DF2, doesn’t have a noticeable central region, or even spiral arms and a disk, typical features of a spiral galaxy. But it doesn’t look like an elliptical galaxy, either. Even its globular clusters are oddballs: they are twice as large as typical stellar groupings seen in other galaxies. All of these oddities pale in comparison to the weirdest aspect of this galaxy: NGC 1052-DF2 is missing most, if not all, of its dark matter. Credits: NASA, ESA, and P. van Dokkum (Yale University)

Dark Matter Goes Missing in Oddball Galaxy

Dark Matter Goes Missing in Oddball Galaxy Galaxies and dark matter go together like peanut butter and jelly. You typically don’t find one without the…

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NGC 1052-DF2 resides about 65 million light-years away in the NGC 1052 Group, which is dominated by a massive elliptical galaxy called NGC 1052. This large, fuzzy-looking galaxy is so diffuse that astronomers can clearly see distant galaxies behind it. This ghostly galaxy is not well-formed. It does not look like a typical spiral galaxy, but it does not look like an elliptical galaxy either. Based on the colours of its globular clusters, the galaxy is about 10 billion years old. However, even the globular clusters are strange: they are twice as large as typical groups of stars. All of these oddities pale in comparison to the weirdest aspect of this galaxy: NGC 1052-DF2 is missing most, if not all, of its dark matter. The galaxy contains only a tiny fraction of dark matter that astronomers would expect for a galaxy this size. But how it formed is a complete mystery. Hubble took this image on 16 November 2017 using its Advanced Camera for Surveys. Credit: NASA, ESA, and P. van Dokkum (Yale University)

Hubble finds first galaxy in the local Universe without dark matter

Hubble finds first galaxy in the local Universe without dark matter An international team of researchers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and several other…

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Artist’s impression of how the first stars in the universe may have looked. N.R.Fuller, National Science Foundation

Signal detected from the first stars in the universe, with a hint that dark matter was involved

Signal detected from the first stars in the universe, with a hint that dark matter was involved An artist’s rendering of how the first stars…

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Artist’s impression of how the first stars in the universe may have looked. N.R.Fuller, National Science Foundation

Experiment picks up light from the first stars – and it may change our understanding of dark matter

Experiment picks up light from the first stars – and it may change our understanding of dark matter Artist’s impression of how the first stars…

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These Hubble Space Telescope images showcase two of the 19 galaxies analyzed in a project to improve the precision of the universe's expansion rate, a value known as the Hubble constant. The color-composite images show NGC 3972 (left) and NGC 1015 (right), located 65 million light-years and 118 million light-years, respectively, from Earth. The yellow circles in each galaxy represent the locations of pulsating stars called Cepheid variables. Credits: NASA, ESA, A. Riess (STScI/JHU)

Improved Hubble Yardstick Gives Fresh Evidence for New Physics in the Universe

Improved Hubble Yardstick Gives Fresh Evidence for New Physics in the Universe Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to make the most precise measurements…

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In 2014, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope found that this enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion Suns. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS

Hubble Weighs in on Mass of Three Million Billion Suns

Hubble Weighs in on Mass of Three Million Billion Suns In 2014, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope found that this enormous galaxy cluster…

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Image showing where scientists believe dark matter resides in the galaxy cluster Abell 520 – near the hot gas in the middle, coloured green. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, CC BY-SA

Study finds ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ may not exist – here’s what to make of it

Study finds ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ may not exist – here’s what to make of it Image showing where scientists believe dark matter resides…

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Looking up in the main chamber at SNOLAB’s facility in the Vale Creighton nickel mine in Sudbury, Ont., a giant spherical neutrino sensor array the size of a 10 storey building is used to detect subatomic particles that pass through the earth. (Handout)

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground Looking up in the main chamber at SNOLAB’s facility in the Vale Creighton nickel mine…

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